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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Thinking Out Loud February 26, 2015

Do you ever talk to yourself out loud?
Back before Bluetooth, when I heard a person on the street, on the bus or in the subway speaking out loud to herself, I kind of assumed she was mentally challenged and was communicating with auditory hallucinations only she heard in her head.
Now of course we overhear all sorts of one-sided conversations folks are having with an unseen, but heard voice on the telephone. Perhaps a bit less so today, as the voice has been superceded by the text message. The talk can be more private now.

Absolutely, we all have private conversations with ourselves. The cognitive psychologists have coined a name for it . "Self-talk" is a technique to help us change bad habits or to stop obsessing about something we cannot change. We talk to ourselves  to remind ourselves of tasks, to chide ourselves for missteps in our relationships with others, to review presentations or conversations we will have with classes, bosses or even to make up a story I will tell to the police officer in the car following me down the highway if he turns on those lights and stops my speeding car.
I was busy making up one of those stories yesterday as I drove at 75 mph down the highway. But the car which passed me had no complaint.

As a writer, I have ample opportunity to express my thoughts and feelings, but always, even as I write this blog, I have a reader in mind. I formulate my thoughts to make myself understood by you.

As a caregiver for a husband who has Alzheimer's disease, I now have the possibility to speak aloud in public to an audience of one who most likely has no idea about what I am thinking out loud. He benefits from hearing my voice, perhaps looking at my expressions, but he definitely likes walking next to me holding my hand or sitting with me on the glider as I speak.

I tell him about the issues raging inside me, trying out solutions to various problems, patting myself on the back for successes and planning future writing, thoughts and actions. A silent sounding board, but quite satisfying to me to be able to hear myself speak with few if any interruptions.

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